Diet according to blood group: yes it works

One study evaluated the effects of the 4 diets corresponding to the 4 blood groups. If the diets lead to certain favorable changes, it seems that this unfortunately has nothing to do with the blood type of the person who practices it…

It was the naturopath Peter d’Adamo who popularized the diet according to blood type, through a best-selling book “Eat Right for Your Type”, translated into 52 languages. According to his theory, most chronic diseases, including obesity, are due to an incompatibility between diet and our blood type.

More specifically, an incompatibility between the lectins in our diet and our red blood cells which, according to the incompatibilities, would trigger the pathogenic process. He therefore recommends a diet according to each of the 4 blood groups, of which here are the main characteristics:

Group O: ancestral group, you have to eat like the hunter-gatherers (rich in animal proteins, without cereals, legumes and dairy products).

Group A: group dating from the agrarian era, it is necessary to eat vegetarian (without dairy products, with especially vegetables and some cereals).

Group B: group originating from nomadic tribes, quite diversified, it is the only diet where you can eat dairy products, but no wheat, corn or potato.

Group AB: intermediate diet between the diet of group A and group B.

Note that certain foods should be banned for all blood groups: pork, smoked salmon, corn and peanut oil, black pepper,…

A diet that lacks physiological bases

The theory linking the prevention of chronic diseases by a diet according to the 4 blood groups lacks a physiological basis, even if one can recognize that there are certain relations between blood group and risk of disease. Thus, we tend to find less type 2 diabetes among group B, and a lower risk of thromboembolism among group O.

But the role of lectins, which on the one hand can cause hypersensitivity reactions, and on the other hand might exert some anticarcinogenic effects, on red blood cells is unlikely. Indeed, as proteins, they are degraded during digestion under the action of pepsin. But no matter, this approach still knows fervent defenders and followers. Hence the interest of this study, conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto with 1,455 adults aged 20 to 29, from whom they collected data on food and determined their blood type.

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Effects yes… but independent of the group

The results indicate that:

– following diet A is associated with lower BMI (body mass index), smaller waist circumference, lower blood pressure, insulin levels and triglyceride levels. Which, in itself, is not surprising for those who eat mainly vegetables.

– Adherence to Diet O was associated with lower triglycerides, again not surprising for a low-carb diet with no added sugars or alcohol.

But cross-referencing the data reveals that these diet effects occur regardless of blood type. In other words, it is the fact of following a diet, and not following it according to your blood type, which produces its effects.


Wang J. et al: ABO Genotype, ‘Blood-Type’ Diet and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors. PLoS ONE.

* At press health we strive to transmit medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace medical advice. []

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